Case study

The Justice Dialogue

Key takeaways

Trend Report 2021 – Delivering Justice / Case Study: The Justice Dialogue

Author: Kanan Dhru, Justice Innovation Advisor

Introduction

The HiiL virtual Justice Dialogue took place on Wednesday, 20th April 2022 from 09:00hrs-13:00hrs CEST.

High-level participants from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, the Netherlands and USA participated in this Dialogue, which served as a basis for HiiL’s plenary “People-centred justice: how to make it happen systematically?” taking place on 1st June at the World Justice Forum. All the participants have significant expertise on issues at the forefront of applying people-centred justice approaches. The names and designations of the participants are shared in the table at the end of this report.

HiiL’s policy brief “Delivering people-centred justice: Rigorously” served as a basis for this Dialogue. The brief focuses on developing an integrated approach on people-centred justice (PCJ) and details five main investments of people-centred justice programming that we see emerging: data, evidence-based practice, game changing justice services, enabling environment as well as engagement and accountability. 

The  Justice Dialogue built on this premise and created an interactive conversation about implementing and scaling the people-centred approach in the justice space. In particular, it focused on the following questions for the participants to share their thoughts and experiences:

Focus questions:

The Dialogue started with an opening speech by Dr Sam Muller, CEO and HiiL and a presentation on HiiL’s approach to people-centred justice by Prof (Dr) Maurits Barendretch. This presentation can be accessed here.  The Dialogue aimed to get inputs of the participants on the four main hypotheses – which serve as the enablers and impediments to people-centred justice:

Enablers and impediments to people-centred justice:

Stakeholders shared their thoughts and experiences on the above questions in small breakout sessions. Later, they shared key ideas from the breakout sessions with the larger group.  

Key takeaways from the Dialogue

1. Why is it important to invest in systematically improving dispute resolution systems in a people-centred way?

The following key takeaways emerged during the Dialogue on the above question: 

2. What are the enablers and impediments for the changemaking justice practitioners to make people-centred justice happen?

Most stakeholders validated the four hypotheses and emphasised that the enablers are also impediments. The same also applies to different components of PCJ.

2.1 Data:

2.2 Mindset:

2.3 Trust in Public Systems:

2.4 Incentives:

2.5 Technology is a strong enabler for change.

2.6 Making a strong case:

3. How can we ensure the broad uptake of innovations in the justice space? What are some of the best practices?

3.1 Scaling the innovation landscape:

3.2 The role of community justice services:

3.3 What is needed to make people-centred justice work?

3.4 Nurturing and investing in an ecosystem for change: 

Summary

We had a number of hypotheses about what makes people-centred justice happen: time and resources, knowledge, incentives and trust. A big enabler is conversations like these that bring a diverse group of people together to share different perspectives.

Three headlines

1. Make the case (if you want to make it work, you have to make the case) 

 2. Bring the right stakeholder together (it’s change management)

3. Creating the enabling environment.

List of the participants

We had a number of hypotheses about what makes people-centred justice happen: time and resources, knowledge, incentives and trust. A big enabler is conversations like these that bring a diverse group of people together to share different perspectives.

Akingbolahan Adeniran

Partner, Awodi & Co.
Former Attorney General, Ogun State, Nigeria

Maha Jweied

Non-Resident Fellow
Center on International Cooperation, New York University, USA

Paul Kimalu

Director, Planning and Organisational Performance
Judiciary Kenya

Rose Wachuka

Chief of Staff, Office of the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya

Jane Adongo

Senior Sociologist
Uganda Law Reforms Commission

Folusho Obienu

Director of Citizens Rights
Ogun State, Nigeria

Justice Khobo

Innovative Justice Reform Judge
Kaduna State, Nigeria

Chinedu Agu

Secretary of Imo State Bar Association,
Imo State, Nigeria

Natalie Anne Knowlton

Director, Special Projects
Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), USA

Gerald Abila

Founder
BarefootLaw, Uganda

Angela Lungati

Executive Director
Ushahidi, Kenya

Odunoluwa Longe

Co-founder
TLP Advisory, Nigeria/UK

Justice Dashboard

Justice Dashboard